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Who is the Steelers’ X-Factor in Week 12 vs. the Baltimore Ravens?

Who is the X-Factor for the Steelers in their Week 12 game vs. the Ravens?

Denver Broncos v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Baltimore Ravens in Week 12. It is the Steelers’ latest home game after a road game in Week 11, and hopefully their eleventh win of the 2020 regular season.

When looking at the matchup between AFC North foes, there are players who can be viewed as ‘X-Factors’.

What is an ‘X-Factor’?

I would describe an ‘X-Factor’ as a player who can truly alter the outcome of the game, single-handedly. Not just a plug and play type player, but a player who always has to be accounted for, no matter what.

As a clear-cut example of what an ‘X-Factor’ player would look like, think Troy Polamalu. Polamalu’s skill set made him a force to be reckoned with on every play. So, who are the ‘X-Factors’ for the Steelers Week 12 game vs. Baltimore?

Let’s take a look...

Jeff Hartman

X-Factor: Cam Heyward

Why: To me, this was a simple one. With Stephon Tuitt being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List, and missing the Week 12 game, it will be up to Heyward to be the dominant force fans have known and loved.

For some reason, it seems Heyward actually plays better when Tuitt is out of the lineup. This isn’t to suggest the defense is better without Tuitt, but Heyward seems to elevate his game when Tuitt isn’t in the lineup.

Let’s put it this way, in Week 12, Steelers fans around the globe would love to see some of the following when Robert Griffin III drops back to pass at Heinz Field Wednesday...

Sacks are great, but when Heyward is on, he is dominant in the run game too. For these reasons, and so many more, Heyward is my X-Factor for this week.

Dave Schofield

X-Factor: Eric Ebron

Why: The reason to choose Eric Ebron in this case is multifaceted. First, there is the possibility of the Ravens defense being weak across the middle due to limited personal because of the COVID-19 outbreak in Baltimore. If so, Ebron could possibly have the best chance to exploit a weakness when it comes to the Ravens pass defense.

Additionally, Eric Ebron is hungry. He’s hungry for a win and he’s angry at the situation which postponed the Steelers Week 13 game by six days. Between having a favorable matchup, having a chip on his shoulder, and developing a better relationship with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger week after week, Ebron could possibly have a game that is Steelers tight end hasn’t seen in a long time.

Who would be your X-Factor for the Week 12 game in Pittsburgh? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!